Petrie – Australia 2019

LNP 1.6%

Incumbent MP
Luke Howarth, since 2013.

Northern Brisbane. Petrie covers suburbs on the northern edge of the City of Brisbane, including Bracken Ridge and parts of Aspley. It also includes parts of Moreton Bay Regional Council, including Redcliffe, Scarborough and Deception Bay.

No change.

Petrie was created as part of the 1949 expansion of Parliament, and has always been a marginal seat, changing sides on many occasions. The seat has been a bellwether seat since 1987.

The seat was first won by Alan Hulme (Liberal) in 1949. Hulme served as a minister in the Menzies government from 1958 until 1961, when he was defeated by Reginald O’Brien (ALP), and Hulme won the seat back off O’Brien in 1963, before resuming a ministerial role.

O’Brien retired in 1972, and the seat was won by Marhsall Cooke. Cooke was not preselected by the Liberals in 1974, and he retired, with John Hodges winning the seat. Hodges held the seat for the Liberals until the 1983 election, when Dean Wells (ALP) won the seat. Hodges won it back off Wells in 1984, and Wells went on to serve as a minister in Labor state government from 1989 until 2004.

Hodges was finally defeated by the ALP’s Gary Johns in 1987. Johns went on to serve as a minister in the last term of the Keating government, losing his seat to Liberal Teresa Gambaro in 1996.

Gambaro held the seat for eleven years before losing to Yvette D’Ath in 2007.

D’Ath was re-elected in 2010 amidst a large anti-Labor swing in Queensland was a minimal 1.7% swing to the Liberal National Party.

D’Ath narrowly lost Petrie in 2013 to the LNP’s Luke Howarth. The 3% swing to the LNP was just enough for the LNP to win with a 0.5% margin, making Petrie the most marginal Coalition seat in the country.

D’Ath returned to politics within six months, winning the state by-election in the overlapping seat of Redcliffe in February 2014. She now serves as Attorney-General in the Labor state government.

Luke Howarth won a second term in 2016, increasing his margin from 0.5% to 1.6%.


Petrie is a very marginal seat and could well fall to Labor if the swing is on. Howarth bucked the trend in 2016, and it’s usually hard to do that twice in a row.

2016 result

Luke Howarth Liberal National 41,47544.7+4.1
Jacqui Pedersen Labor 35,61638.4-1.1
Sue Weber Greens 6,8407.4+2.9
Mark A WhiteFamily First4,7465.1+3.0
Catherine BuckleyLiberal Democrats2,8773.1+3.1
Andrew Charles TyrrellArts Party1,2391.3+1.3

2016 two-party-preferred result

Luke Howarth Liberal National 47,92651.6+1.1
Jacqui Pedersen Labor 44,86748.4-1.1

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three areas. Booths in the City of Brisbane have been grouped as South.

Those around Redcliffe have been grouped as East, and the remainder around North Lakes and at the northern end of the electorate have been grouped as West.

The ALP won a majority of the ordinary election-day vote, with 50.3% in the south, 52.6% in the west, and 50% (an eight-vote majority) in the east.

The LNP won the seat thanks to a 55% majority in the pre-poll and a 54% majority amongst other votes. These votes collectively make up almost 45% of the total vote, and thus were enough to overwhelm Labor’s majority at the ordinary booths.

Voter groupLNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes54.017,79619.2

Two-party-preferred votes in Petrie at the 2016 federal election

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  1. ALP has started campaigning in Petrie. Candidates for Dickson and Petrie jhhgave Bill Shorten speaking at Town Hall Meeting North lakes Sports Club on Monday 16 April. Robo call from Shorten this afternoon.

    BOth HOwarth and Dutton will need to work very hard to keep their seats. NO sign of this hard work yet.

    If they want to win they should be door knocking themselves every day from now till election and every member of their party should be out at least one day a weekend.

    I doubt if either party have 1% of their membership with this commitment.Campaigning now is not hard yakka but hard spneding of money raised by professional fund raisers. Every donor to political parties should ask how much of each dollar goes to the the party and how much to you. MY guess is a $1000 donation to either major parties is $500 to the party and $500 to the fund raiser. therefore to all of you never give a party scrounger a dollar. Thank them for their call then decide how much you want to give and send directly to Party Treasurer bu cheque. THIs will be far more appreciated than the part that fund raiser will pass on.


  2. Labor have picked a great candidate in this seat who has the support of the Mayor, Allan Sutherland.

    Whilst Howarth is one of the LNP’s best campaigners, I think this seat will swing back to Labor enough for Corrine to win. Which will be a shame, as I think Luke has done a lot for Petrie in his two terms.

  3. Well this is my seat… I think Luke is doing a fantastic job even though i don’t support the prime minister himself, Theoretically Labour could win government without this, But i believe if labour does win and swings in QLD they could carry this but probably by a razor thin margin of under 0.5% If Luke wins it will only be on Pre-polls, remember Petrie is less marginal than Dickson, As Luke won bigger than Dutton narrowly, Despite the redistribution, Though unlikely its possible Dutton loses his seat while Luke holds his due to Dutton not being very popular (that’s why he almost lost) And Luke holds on being a popular local member, But we will see what happens

  4. Bridgeman Downs and Fitzgibbon booths border each other and yet they are the opposite extremes by 2PP. Bizarre.

    If the current federal polling in QLD is correct Labor are going to gobble this seat up.

  5. @Daniel

    I agree, Luke Howarth works the seat very well. That’s why I always thought he would retain last time and others would fall (being Longman).

  6. I think Bridgeman Downs is a lot different it is large lots and mansions and Fitzgibbon cram them in units…

  7. Agree with InterestedObserver.

    You can learn almost everything you need to know politically about Bridgeman Downs by driving along Beckett/Bridgeman Rds. Baptist church, big blocks, retirement village.

  8. What does Howarth do exactly? The usual “local member” things?

    There’s probably a book to be written about what trend defying local members do.

    I’m still baffled by how backbenchers who vote with the government 100% of the time and use Question Time to do Dorothy dixers can rise above their party.

  9. Corinne Mulholland probably won’t win, Luke is a popular local member and i live here, Lots of people like him especially in the North lakes area where i am (And this is a key area) Yvette Dath’ won North lakes in 2010 but lost in 2013, It is a Bellweather area, if Corinne Mulholland wins the area she will prob win but i highly doubt she would

  10. Definitely a Liberal Hold, No chance for Labor gain see my comment above. Hes a hard working member that always responds to emails

  11. Daniel there is no way the Liberals will hold on to this seat. I have a feeling that alot of good members will loose their seats, simply because the swing is on.

  12. Like i said as long as the North Lakes/Mango Hill area (My area) supports Luke like they did in 2016 then he should hold on razer thin, I know allot of people around here Bill shorten is heavily dispised in my area

  13. Luke Howarth had a decent sophomore effect last time to help him against the overall swing – that’s largely baked in now.

    Petrie has exhibited both sophomore effects and bellwether swings over the last four elections. (As Ben notes it’s been a bellwether for much longer, I just couldn’t be bothered going back further for the swing analysis.)

    2007 sets us up when Yvette D’Ath gets a monster swing, exceeding the statewide swing to Labor by just under 2 points.

    2010: Labor has a big swing against statewide but the effect is muted in Petrie; D’Ath does about 3.8 points better than the statewide swing.

    2013: Labor doesn’t have much further to fall statewide but Petrie catches up; Luke Howarth gets a swing about 1.2 points stronger than statewide.

    2016: Moderate statewide swing towards Labor but Petrie goes the other way as Howarth does about 4 points better than statewide.

    Based on the above it’s very tempting to suggest that if (as current polls suggest) Labor has a blowout win overall, then Corinne Mulholland will take Petrie with a swing about a point stronger than statewide. I believe the most recent Newspoll had a 50/50 here, which represents a 4% swing.


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